Fylde starlet Jordan Dorrington could scarcely contain himself after an eye-catching cameo performance on his home ground in England Counties’ 37-3 rout of a Scotland Clubs XV.
The 21-year-old former Vale of Lune back made his debut off the bench with five minutes left, slotted in busily at scrum-half – and scored the final try, to roars of approval from the Fylde fans and an enthusiastic party of pupils from his former school, Royal Lancaster Grammar.
“It’s a massive dream come true,” he said after posing for pictures with the Lancaster schoolboys and the man who used to be his teacher and is now a colleague for both Fylde and the Counties, Evan Stewart.
“It was a great five minutes. I am shocked. I wondered if I was dreaming.
“You couldn’t have written it, could you?
“I feel a bit of a famous person now.”
And looking forward to the Counties’ next game – against France in Perigeux on March 20 – Dorrington, who has played for Lancashire at all age groups, said: “I definitely want more of it.”
Equally happy was Stewart, the Fylde skipper, despite coming off following a bang on the knee, which he does not think will keep him out of his club’s next league game – at Wharfedale next Saturday.
“It was a top game,” said the 28-year-old back-row forward, who scored the Counties’ second try from close range to crown a typically effective display in what was his debut, too, for the representative side which is drawn from the English National Leagues.
“It was outstanding for us not to let them score a try and brilliant to have that professional three or four days together as a squad to prepare,” said Stewart.
“I have made some new friends at lots of other clubs and that is part of the experience. It was nice to see Jordan score – that was really special.
“Hopefully, I will be involved again in the French match.”
A third Fylde player, fly-half Chris Johnson also suffered a knock which should not keep him out of the club side.
A former captain of the Counties, he contributed a penalty and two conversions, while club-mate Ollie Brennand made his usual dangerous dashes down the wing but frustratingly for the home fans could not get on the scoresheet.
A fifth Fylde player involved with the squad was lock Paul Arnold, who was recently appointed forwards coach of the England Counties Under-20s side, and was called up to fill a gap left by head coach Steve Pope’s unavailability to travel.
His efforts impressed assistant coach James Shanahan, who said: “It’s good that Paul Arnold stepped in.
“He’s well known to most of the players and he’s a Fylde lad and he has done really well.
“He has bought into it. He’s an ex-Counties player as well and he was as keen as mustard to help out on the coaching.”
In all, England scored six tries, with Scotland Clubs notching a solitary penalty. But the visitors never gave up trying and contributed in full to an entertaining game in front of a 1,000-plus crowd.